Jockey Todd Kabel captured his meet-leading 16th stakes score, guiding 12-1 Palace Pier to an upset score in Saturday's $150,000 Ontario Lassie Stakes at Woodbine. Palace Pier, a two-year-old daughter of Out of Place, trained by Darwin Banach, made her second stakes effort a winning one, crossing the wire 3/4 length in front of 4-5 favorite Catch the Thrill, in 1:46.69 for 1 1/16-miles, which was 1.66 seconds faster than the juvenile colts in the Kingarvie. The chestnut filly came into the race off a maiden-breaking score, a 1 1/4-length winner at 1 1/16-miles on November 4. Bred and owned by Bill Sorokolit, she finished fourth on the grass in her career bow on August 20, before an 11th-place finish in the Grade 3 Natalma Stakes, also contested on turf, on September 10. Her first test on the Toronto oval's Polytrack resulted in a third-place finish on September 30.
It was Palace Pier who seized the lead from the outset, taking the
field through an opening 1/4 in :24.01 and 1/2 in :47.62. Kabel, who could be in line for his sixth Sovereign Award and fourth straight as Canada's top rider, kept the Ontario-bred relaxed through 3/4 in 1:12.13, before the duo fended off a late run from Princess Elizabeth Stakes champion Catch the Thrill. Love You Crazy held for third.
Palace Pier paid $26.20, $7.40 and $4.70, combining with Catch the
Thrill ($2.70, $2.10) for a $60.40 exacta. 5-2 third choice Love You Crazy ($3.40) completed a $295.80 trifecta.